My decision to participate in the translation agency project was driven by a wish to hone new skills and have an academic interest away from my degree. I wasn’t aware at the time that I would come to really embrace the project, enjoy the company of the team I worked with and really plough a lot of energy into it to make it a success.
I was very lucky to work within a diverse team with other students who too became enthused by the project and I think the support we gave each other spurred us on as a team and pushed us to treat it with more care and motivation than a standard extra-curricular activity. Personally, managing a group wasn’t something I was well accustomed with – I was used to working autonomously on projects at university, so the responsibility of organising and delegating in my role of Project Manager pushed me a little out of my comfort zone. Occasionally I felt the pressure of not being able to “forget” about the project when other work commitments were beckoning, yet I ultimately really enjoyed having the project as a second focus.
My advice to students working on the present project would be to really give it your care and attention – be active, be willing and take advantage of the opportunities given to you to learn about new software and meet industry professionals. It is only in this way that you will really glean the maximum from it. Furthermore, trust your fellow colleagues, motivate them where necessary and understand that everyone has individual strengths and creativities that can be utilised (especially when choosing a name, designing a logo and devising your agency’s vision). When it comes to the final presentation, I’d encourage all teams to think beyond the basic rubric of the project: what can you do to make your team better than the others and to really prove that you deserve to win? Essentially, you can really take the project as far as you would like to, and I would encourage all teams to do this as it improves the quality overall.
Since graduating, I have spoken a lot about the experience of managing the translation project in interviews, and used it as a prime example of managing a team when applying for a role abroad. I spent three months in Nicaragua, managing a group of eighteen to twenty five year olds and continually employed many of the skills I acquired during the project – leading individuals who are similar in age, being flexible to needs, motivating and listening and delegating.
Take the project seriously and nurture your shared ideas as a team – it is a great opportunity to learn new skills, work with different people and gain invaluable experience.
BA CH English and Spanish